Way of the Samurai 2 Hands-On Impressions

Acquire's samurai hack-and-slash game will hit the PS2 this June, courtesy of Capcom.

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We got a chance to go hands-on with Way of the Samurai 2, Acquire's new sequel to its samurai hack-and-slash adventure game, at Capcom's E3 press conference. The game will put you in the role of a samurai who happens upon the formerly sleepy town of Amahara that is now being torn asunder by conflicting political forces. The magistrate's office has fallen in line with the ascending feudalism of the national government, and it battles against the Aoto gang, a group of lawless vigilantes trying to win power in the town. Your samurai character will enter this tumultuous environment and try to restore order and peace for Amahara's beleaguered citizens.

You'll be able to choose between one of three different samurai character types when you start the game--the young male, fierce warrior, and master. We were able to move around a stylized area map to visit different locations, and each one was populated by warriors that, for some reason, really wanted to cut us up. The swordplay mechanics in the game felt pretty solid and were easy to get a handle on. You can draw your sword--which often draws unwanted attention--and deliver light and heavy slashes in various patterns. You can also block most incoming attacks with your sword, and a simple throw maneuver helped us incapacitate enemies in the middle of a fight. Overall, the sword-fighting action seemed quite accessible to us after just a few minutes with the game.

It seems that there will be more to Way of the Samurai 2 than just killing enemies, although that would probably be enough for us. There will be some adventure elements as well, since you'll be able to speak with local citizens, visit shop vendors to stock up on supplies, and accept jobs that will help you earn money. The game's storyline will take place over a 10-day period and will branch out in different directions depending on who you choose to help or fight in Amahara.

Way of the Samurai 2 is looking pretty good, with lots of authentic-looking environments and characters that evoke the feel of feudal Japan. We liked the combat mechanics after our initial play session; hopefully they will continue to develop as your adventure wears on. Way of the Samurai 2 is scheduled for release in June, so look for more on it soon.

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